Cleanup efforts continue in Ohatchee community following deadly tornado

Local News

OHATCHEE, Ala. (WIAT) — Cleanup efforts continued this weekend in Calhoun County’s Ohatchee community after a deadly tornado ripped through the area three weeks ago.

Volunteers, friends, and neighbors are continuing to show up and support homeowners on Dark Hollow Road.

“It was really overwhelming how much help showed up, just like these guys today, they came out and called me this morning saying ‘We’re coming to help you,’ I’m like ‘OK. Great. That sounds great,” Ohatchee resident Lydia Howard said.

Howard’s home suffered structural damage from the tornado March 25.

“I got two windows busted in this room. I have a busted window in my sunroom. This roof leaks more than what it ever did. Interior, I really haven’t had much damage except for where they been walking on the roof to get estimates,” she said.

To help get Howard’s home back in order, the Home Depot Foundation recruited seven volunteers to help with the heavy lifting.

“The roof peeled off and it was thrown back into the backside of her property. So, we’re out here trying to get off because it’s a very mountainous, hilly area behind us so we’re out here trying to get that debris and get that roof broken down and get it down to the street so that it can be picked up,” said Mark Hamilton, a member of the Home Depot Foundation.

Although it has almost been a month since the tornado hit the community, volunteers say their efforts are not slowing down and will continue through the summer.

“The thoroughfares are all nice and clear and the assumption is ‘Hey, we’ve gotten through this and everyone is cleaned up and ready’ when really they’re not and it’s really when you start getting down the side roads that you really start to see the individual impact,” said Hamilton.

“I’m glad. I’m thankful that I live where I live. I wouldn’t move. I’m not planning on moving. I might add on to some of it but, you know, we’re not moving.”

The Calhoun County EMA is still helping homeowners connect with volunteer groups like the Home Depot Foundation to help with the ongoing clean-up efforts. Click here for more information.

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